Aldeias do Xisto certified as a Dark Sky destination

08 aug 2019
Aldeias do Xisto certified as a Dark Sky destination
The SF awarded the Dark Sky Aldeias do Xisto with the international accreditation “Starlight Tourist Destination", for the excellent conditions of visibility,transparency,and darkness of the night sky,and also the readiness and quality of tourist services

The Starlight Foundation awarded the Dark Sky Aldeias do Xisto Project with the Starlight Tourist Destination international certification. This project is led by ADXTUR in partnership with the Dark Sky® Alqueva Association and is promoted by the Coimbra Regional Intermunicipal Community. Completing the network of initial partners are the Institute of Telecommunications at the University of Aveiro and the Porto University’s Faculty of Sciences.

Alongside the excellent conditions of visibility, transparency, and darkness of the sky, this accreditation also attests to the commitment of public, private, and scientific bodies, and the readiness and quality of tourist services, augmented by the genuine interest of the resident community.

This combination of factors shapes a new tourist strategy that goes beyond merely observing the sky and becomes a strategic focus that reconciles tourism development with social and environmental sustainability, thus transforming an ostensible weakness in the area into a positively distinctive economic and cultural asset.

Aldeias do Xisto Laboratory
The Aldeias do Xisto are a brand-destination that, over the past few years, have managed to establish a unique enclave within the Central Region, and in the country as a whole, based on tourism, innovation and wisdom. They have done so by always seeking out what is most distinctive and authentic in the landscape and in their communities, attracting investment and opening the door to projects that start innovating from the very essence of these places. The relationship with nature, with the land, and with the people has been the guiding principle of this activity, which seeks to revitalise the area based on its cultural uniqueness.

Dark Sky® Places Network
Portugal has the world's first "Starlight Tourist Destination" under the Dark Sky® Alqueva trademark. Since 2007, the Dark Sky® Association has developed a sustainability strategy that combines the protection of the night sky with the development of astrotourism destinations. Dark Sky® destinations demonstrate that it is possible to promote economic development and light pollution reduction at the same time, resulting in great benefits for culture, human health, and the environment.

The right to a dark sky
The Starlight Foundation recognises that stargazing has always been an inspiration for the development of cultures and civilisations, and that many of the technical and scientific advances that have marked the progress of humankind have resulted from it. However, the conditions for observing the night sky have been deteriorating at a worrying rate in a process that faces humanity with cultural, scientific, and natural loss with unpredictable consequences. In this sense, the Foundation's actions recognise the value and importance of the relationship between humankind and the stars, fighting for the conservation, protection, and enhancement of this collective heritage.